I’ve yet to meet a man or woman over 50 who has dated extensively and is still enamored with it. So who wouldn’t want their next first date to be their last first date? Who doesn’t get numb scrolling through online dating profiles with tiny photos? Online dating success requires stamina, patience, and some amount of luck. I can’t promise your next first date will be your last first date but I can tell you what you have a right to expect from it.
School Dance Jitters
A first date can feel like a junior high after school dance when nervousness made acting cool impossible. In their anxiety to meet a life partner, daters over 50 sometimes project who they’d like their first date to be instead of seeing the actual person. This case of mistaken identity always resolves itself when the real person becomes too obvious to continue ignoring. Ask your first date questions that can determine the viability of a second date and expect to have those questions turned around on you. Focus on the answers and resist the temptation to minimize or ignore the troubling ones. You’re interviewing for a life partner.
I believe in relationship magic and I don’t believe it takes several dates to identify the magic that successful, long-term relationships share in common. I cringe when I hear someone advise a friend to settle for someone they’re compatible with. Settling is fatally flawed and precludes ever finding the magic you deserve. Most of us have a sense about whether or not a second date is viable so trust your instincts.
Magic Is A Bright Light
Compatibility better describes my feelings for my sweet dog than my sweet heart. While compatibility is a factor, it doesn’t replace magic, the undeniable chemistry two people feel when they meet. My heart felt like it was bursting through my chest when I met my partner. It felt similar to when I asked Nancy Wilson to dance with me in junior high. My palms were sweaty, my heart raced in my ears, and I was too excited to speak. Midway through our second year I still get butterflies every time I see my partner. Are we compatible? Sure, but the magic is the icing on the cake. You deserve lots of frosting.
I’m confident about the over 50 crowd’s ability to identify magic. Our experiences have taught us that choosing out of anything but love is a mistake because it cheats us out of our ultimate joy. We’ve discovered what works for us in a partner and what doesn’t. We still believe that a relationship embodying magic is always possible. While we accept that finding it isn’t easy, we persevere because it can alter the course of our lives.
Asking your first date appropriate questions is critical no matter how you feel initially. No one gets a pass in the Q&A department because there’s real magic and there’s infatuation. I’ll list the best questions that can help distinguish one from the other in a future article, but a few would include fiscal sustainability, emotional availability, relationship history, and integrity. Maintain eye contact when asking your questions because the truth is in people’s eyes as well as their answers.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect on a first date, whether magic is apparent or not. Look for the nearest exit if you don’t feel you’re being treated with the respect you deserve. It’s entirely unacceptable to treat a date disrespectfully no matter their potential. And if someone is disrespectful on a first date it’s naive to think they’ll behave differently later on.
No relationship expert feels that opposites attract is a smart dating strategy. Your perfect partner is your twin in nearly every respect. Here’s the problem with the twin factor. It’s difficult for some people to get comfortable around the notion that their best potential partner is their twin because they mistakenly believe their twin will also embody all their worst qualities. Even if that were true, your twin would still be your best choice because you’d both recognize your shared issues and could help each other move beyond them. But sharing the same personality types, temperaments, likes and dislikes and other factors will make blending your lives simpler and easier. Twins works.
Your Heart Not Your Head
I’ve always contended that a relationship should be navigated primarily with the heart, not the head. Exclusively cerebral relationships negate the heart, which is your best navigational tool. Your head may point you in the right direction but it’s your heart that will choose the path to a successful relationship. Magic is a feeling and it’s one you can trust because your feelings are your absolute truth.
Read this next: Boomers, What’s Your Second Date Criteria?
Ken Solin is a Dating Expert who has written about boomer sex, dating, and relationships for The Huffington Post, AARP, About.com, and Maria Shriver for a decade. Ken believes boomer women are perfect for boomer men as he discussed on The Today Show.
Ken's new book, The Boomer Guide To Finding True Love Online, is available for preorder at Amazon.com. It offers real-life boomer dating solutions based on Ken's online dating experiences and the experiences of tens of thousands of readers who have commented on his articles. His relationship philosophy is simple. "You can't think your way through a relationship. You have to feel your way."